Who Pays For Your Divorce If Your Spouse Cheated On You?
In a contentious divorce, allegations of adultery can lead to increased legal fees and protracted litigation. In Florida, the court may order one spouse to pay the other spouse’s attorney’s fees if the adultery played a role in the breakdown of the marriage. However, this is not always the case. In fact, under several circumstances, you may have to pay for the divorce even if your spouse cheated on you.
Grounds for Divorce in Florida
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either spouse may file for divorce without providing what might be considered a solid reason. To obtain a divorce in Florida, one spouse must file a petition for dissolution of marriage with the circuit court in the county where either spouse resides. The petition must be served on the other spouse, who then has an opportunity to respond.
The grounds that have to be mentioned on the petition, however, must include one of the following:
- The marriage being irretrievably broken: This means that the couple has been unable to fix the problems in their relationship and continue to live together. Issues like adultery, bigamy, abandonment, imprisonment for a period of two years or more, etc., may be brought up during the proceedings if the divorce petition is contested. The court may then issue a decree of divorce on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
- Mental incapacity: This occurs when one of the parties is mentally unable to consent to a divorce or understand the proceedings. A party must show that the other party is incurably insane and unable to manage their own affairs. This ground can be proven through medical testimony or evidence from a competent psychologist.
If the spouses cannot agree on issues such as property division or child custody, the court will decide them at a final hearing.